Schleicher County is experiencing yet another wave of active COVID-19 cases as the highly contagious omicron variant spreads across the nation.

The variant, first detected in South Africa, is said to be more infectious than the original COVID-19 virus that arrived here in 2020, and the delta variant that hit hard in 2021.

“Although the omicron variant is more contagious, those infected by it seem to experience milder symptoms than those caused by earlier strains of the virus. That being said, we have seen 25 positive COVID patients in the clinic since Thursday December 27th,” Schleicher County Medical Center Administrator Paul Burke said. “This is significantly more than we have seen during a seven day period in any of the other waves and while the symptoms seem milder for most people, some people are experiencing more severe symptoms.”

Here in Schleicher County the number of active cases being reported by the State of Texas climbed to 25 on Wednesday.

Cases are surging in neighboring counties, too. On Wednesday, the San Angelo Health Department reported 481 new positive cases. That’s in addition to 452 cases on Tuesday and 702 new positive cases over the New Year’s holiday weekend.

Burke explains that the local hospital and clinic are seeing a high demand for COVID-19 tests and said that supplies for these tests are running low. He also notes that some of the treatment options, such as monoclonal antibodies, that were available earlier in the pandemic, are not being released by the federal government.

“Some of the treatments that were effective against earlier versions of the virus don’t seem to be as effective against the omicron variant,” Burke explained.

Authorities continue to urge the public to get vaccinated and, for those who are already vaccinated, get a follow up booster shot if one is available.

Meanwhile, wash your hands often, wear a mask or face covering when in public, and isolate/quarantine if you are sick, or test positive for COVID-19.